Showing posts from February, 2020

John Sonny Franzese Dead: Longtime Colombo Power Was 103

John (Sonny) Franzese, longtime Colombo underboss, died Sunday after a brief illness at the age of 103, Newsday reports.

Franzese, of Roslyn, reigned over the mob family’s rackets on Long Island in the 1960s and had interests in restaurants, several topless clubs, independent record labels and even the porn classic, “Deep Throat.”

He was considered a rising star in the Mafia hierarchy until he was convicted of masterminding a series of bank robberies across the country in 1967.....

One of our last stories about him addressed the question of why Sonny Franzese would give a high profile interview to Newsday, Long Island’s hometown newspaper....we posited a very specific covert reason ....

John Sonny Franzese was the ultimate stand-up wiseguy. He was the embodiment of omerta, a man inherently incapable of breaking the Mafia's codes. He spent decades in prison because he refused to name names. Even at the advanced age of 90, he served the sentence handed down rather than talk, even th…

Appeals Court Rules In Frankie Loc’s Favor: The Bull’s Statement Admitted As New Evidence

Frank (Frankie Loc ) Locascio, the former Gambino consigliere serving life following a 1992 murder racketeering conviction, won a small victory last week when a federal appeals court in Manhattan ordered that a signed declaration from Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano be admitted as new evidence. 

Locascio included the declaration in a filing in Brooklyn federal court that is part of his ongoing effort to overturn his conviction for the 1990 slaying of Gambino wiseguy Louis DiBono,  a successful contractor who failed to show up when summoned. For his infraction, DiBono was shot to death in a World Trade Center parking garage in October of 1990.

Gravano’s signed statement bolsters one of Locascio’s key ongoing claims: for years, Locascio has argued that he tried to talk John Gotti out of killing DiBono and had attempted to broker a peace deal by which DiBono would pay Gotti $50,000 for his absenteeism.

Gravano notes that Locascio did indeed try to save DiBono – and for his ef…

The Ravenite Transcripts PART 3: Why You Should Never Talk About The Murders You Ordered

We got nothing but troubles… You know what I want you to do, Frank? We gotta both buy chemotherapy with the money I got.”

We’re approaching the more incriminating stuff...

John Gotti uses his mouth to dig graves for himself, Frank Locascio – and for whatever was left of the underworld career of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, the underboss who escaped the indictment by flipping.

Should we fault Gotti entirely? (Of course, but an argument could be made that a mitigating biological factor exists. As we continue to stretch the boundaries of science -- we further enrich our understanding of humanity's intrinsic need for stories. For those interested in this: Stories “are our earliest sciences, a kind of people-physics. Their logic is how we naturally think. They configure our biology, and how we feel, in ways long essential for our survival. Like our language instinct, a story drive—an inborn hunger for story hearing and story making—emerges untutored universally in healthy children…

The Ravenite Transcripts PART 2: John Gotti's Secret Meetings In Mrs. Cirelli's Apartment

The FBI surreptitiously recorded about 600 hours of discussions in the apartment above the Ravenite social club, six hours of which were entered into evidence during the 1992 murder and racketeering trial of John Gotti and his consiglieri Frank Locascio.

And in this installment of our ongoing series, we present the rest of the discussion from November 30, 1989. The transcript indicates there was a pause where we left off previously. We pick up from there. (These take an extraordinary amount of time to put together!)

FILE NUMBER: 183A-3507 

PLACE: Apartment above the Ravenite Social Club, located at 247 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, Manhattan 

TIME: 8:15 P.M. 


[. . . .]

GRAVANO: Know what I mean?

GOTTI: Yeah. But, no, I’m saying. Well, whoever done it, I don’t know who done it. And I know youse two—

GRAVANO: Well, I knew he didn’t have no balls!

GOTTI: That’s right.

GRAVANO: I knew he didn’t have no balls. Say, you were gonna do…

The Ravenite Transcripts: John Gotti's Secret Meetings In Mrs. Cirelli's Apartment

"Neil would’ve told him just like this, “What? What are we cops here?” Let’s kill all the @$%% that (inaudible), in the whole “Family.” Every Gambino; every @$%% Castellano; Neil would’ve—. He, he wanted to—he didn’t want no part of (inaudible) ya know, Neil, he wanted no part of the confrontation; which was a shame in itself. That’s your “underboss.” You gotta love him. You don’t “break” him. Get rid of the @$%%!

 -- John Gotti on Ravenite transcripts 

The FBI surreptitiously recorded about 600 hours of discussions in the apartment above the Ravenite social club, six hours of which were entered into evidence during the 1992 murder and racketeering trial of John Gotti and his consiglieri Frank Locascio.

And in an ongoing series we'll present as much of them as we can...

The FBI agents were acting under a federal statute that permits government agents to break and enter into homes and businesses or other locations where there is probable cause to believe that crimina…

Luchese Soldier Who Relocated To Arizona in Witness Protection Program Was Arrested Yesterday

Frank Capri, 52, of Scottsdale, Arizona--whose real name is Frank Gioia Jr., a Luchese soldier from New York who flipped in the 1990s and moved to Arizona in the early 2000s—was arrested February 5 with his mother.

Capri -- or Gioia -- made a name for himself as a big-shit real estate and restaurant developer in Arizona.

Do all these ex-wiseguys move to frigging Arizona?

He and his mom appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle H. Burns following their arrest.

On January 28, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment charging Capri, Debbie Corvo, and another individual with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the operation of various branded restaurant locations in Arizona and across the United States.

The trial is scheduled for April 7, 2020, before United States District Judge John J. Tuchi.

Capri was reportedly behind the collapse of a restaurant chain named after country music recording star Toby Keith.

About 10 years ago, Ph…

Fat Andy Ruggiano As Gambino Underboss? Pondering The What Ifs

COSA NOSTRA NEWS EXCLUSIVE In November 1991, John Gotti was at MCC—the squalid, roach-infested hole he’d been calling home for about the past year—when he learned that his underboss, Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, had flipped. One of the then-Gambino boss’s first remarks was: "If Fat Andy had been out, I wouldn’t be in this mess.”

Ruggiano went away in 1984 and got out in 1997, serving 13 years of a 40-year sentence. (Fat Andy Ruggiano died about two years after getting out, in 1999)

For him, getting pinched when John Gotti was Gambino boss meant missing a golden opportunity. Had Fat Andy been out on the street during John Gotti’s reign, he likely would’ve changed the calculus — meaning Gambino family history would be different. A longtime power in East New York and a mentor to powerful wiseguys, Fat Andy could have played a significant role.

“My father had bad timing," Anthony Ruggiano Junior told us recently.

“My father definitely would’ve been on John’s side. Tony Le…